Thursday, 24 April 2008

A moving story, chapter 3: Big events

Here’s what next: more work, at home and the office! But not for long. I wasn’t even back at work for a whole week before I was fired, what! (That was April 10.) I am not lying. I basically faced one of the greatest shocks of my life, and, justifiably, I think, the following days are unclear. I had been ready to work at that job for several years to finance my new domestic lifestyle; but, admittedly, I was not challenged by the work, and it left me wanting creative activities. Anyway, I got two weeks severance and a kick in the pants to move on with things, and it meant that I could spend the next while at home working on the house, in between looking for jobs, of course. So you don’t worry too much, the day after I left Caliper, I followed a good lead, which led to an interview and a job offer a week later, and I will be starting work again next week. All told, three weeks off between jobs. I won’t even get the pleasure of collecting an EI cheque.

But back to the house. Hmm. Well, about a week after we moved in, our electricians came along to start work. I believe I mentioned something about having to rewire the entire deal. All but one room, that is, and even that room needed the ground wires connected. So for the following two weeks they roamed through the house drilling holes in the walls and leaving piles of rubble and dust in their wake. We occasionally cleaned up after them only to have them come back the next day and leave another mess. It has been difficult to say the least (for us and for them!) to live in the house as it is under renovation. And if I may offer some advice to new home buyers, it is this: if possible, try to get as much structural work done as you can before moving in. That should save you some pretty major headaches. The electricians have had to get into the attic and under the house to do their thing, and if we weren’t here to get in the way and live with the dust and debris, we would all be happier! Nonetheless, it’s almost done, and they have been very good and fast, and we didn’t really have the option of living elsewhere in the meantime.

The weekend before last was a really big one. The biggest yet I guess. Danijela’s parents came into town on Saturday to do some work and spend the night and prepare for a big work day on Sunday. Also on Saturday morning, my dad came over to rearrange the plumbing for the washer and basin sink in the basement. Of course, the electricians had shut off the power down there, so we worked by flashlight. Of course, the basement is really quite far from our minds at the moment with all the important stuff to do above ground. (But personally, I can’t wait to get building a studio there.) Also that day, I pulled out from the garden all of the metal poles and bits that previously supported a vegetable garden. A couple of days later, I would get down and dirty and remove all the cigarette butts from the soil (in one section at least). On Sunday, several of Danijela’s uncles came down along with her aunt and cousin for a housework blitz that transformed the house in hours. Most of the work was painting, and that day we almost completed the upstairs, but we also extended the heating into the back room office and installed laminate flooring in there, we tore out the basement “bedroom”, and added heating to the basement bathroom. That was all very very promising, though again, after we cleaned up, the electricians left their little piles. And aside from the weekends, progress is slow. But it goes on!

Tuesday, the 15th, my friends Jon and Graham and I began carting off the junk in Jon’s pick up. I hadn’t been inside a transfer station before, and boy was that a treat. Needless to say it stank, and we tried to get in and out of there as quickly as possible. At the same time, shovelling garbage from the back of a truck straight onto the ground did offer some satisfaction. Jon and I went again last Saturday morning only to find a line stretching down the street and around the corner, maybe 100 cars long. In the end we waited an hour and some just to get in, then another 40-odd minutes to get out! I guess the dump is a popular weekend hangout.

Danijela and I have now spent several mornings racing to IKEA to eat elevenses before they stopped serving their dollar breakfast. Well, technically, we went to shop for various bits--light fixtures, curtains, and a desk the first time; I’m not sure we bought anything the second time; and the third time, a cupboard, shelf set, and a bunch of organizing boxes--but a delicious second breakfast is certainly an incentive. And I’m sure we’ll come up with another excuse to go before I start working again. We’ve also been making numerous trips to the renovation plaza at Keele and St. Clair streets. That is, the massive plaza with a Rona, Home Depot, Canadian Tire, Dominion, Staples, a drive through ATM, and, believe me, much more. It’s handy, and I get to practice my driving. A couple of weeks ago, I went with Danijela’s dad, and we had to return in a very illegal fashion, with Mile sitting in the back on the folded-down seat with no seat belt, because there was too much stuff in the car. I only worry about this sort of thing because I’ve only got my G1 license, and the penalty is worse than just a fine I think. Whatever, right? It won’t be the last time I do something like that (sorry Mum!).

Now I can’t get our internet to work, so I have to hijack someone’s wireless. Thank goodness for those generous folk who don’t secure their connections!

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The New Dilettantes by Adam Gorley is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.